The Netherlands is considered by many to be an effective jurisdiction, well equipped for the resolution of commercial disputes. This reputation of the Netherlands is documented by its overall score given by the WJP Rule of Law Index.
The Netherlands ranked 5th across 128 countries in 2020. The Index’s scores indicate a number of key specifics of the jurisdiction:
The courts in the Netherlands consist solely of appointed judges. Judges in the Netherlands are appointed for life and act in their judicial capacity with complete independence from the government.
In The Netherlands, there are two primary types of legal proceedings: standard proceedings and summary proceedings.
Standard proceedings, also referred to as proceedings on the merits or bodemprocedure, are used to settle disputes in which one party or debtor disputes a claim due to arguable grounds such as failure of delivery. Standard litigations are heard in first instance before a Dutch district court.
Summary proceedings, also known as kort geding in Dutch, are a common tool in the Netherlands for the swift resolution of disputes. In summary court sessions, which can last anywhere from one hour up to an entire day, the president of the district court has the power to order nearly any provisional measure necessary for success - payments orders, restraining orders, evacuations, cease-and-desist orders included!
Corporate litigation in the Netherlands encompasses all legal disputes involving corporations, their shareholders and any of their corporate bodies - such as management boards, supervisory boards, works councils or employee representative assemblies - including companies themselves. Common topics addressed during these hearings include corporate law; insolvency/restructuring issues; real property & intellectual property rights; commercial tenancy law; labor & employment law; construction law and contract law.
Regarding evidence in Dutch civil proceedings, the Dutch Code of Civil Proceedings sets forth rules on (civil) evidence. These rules dictate how evidence should be assessed and how hearing witnesses must testify.
Before initiating legal proceedings in the Netherlands, it must first be decided if a Dutch court can hear your case and if so, which jurisdiction they will have. This determination depends on Dutch law, EU law, and various international treaties.
If legal proceedings abroad lead to a judgment, the next step is how to have this recognition and enforcement enforced in The Netherlands. As an international trading nation, Dutch businesses operate across many borders. Recognizing and upholding foreign judgments is therefore critical for those conducting global business operations.
The Enterprise Chamber is a special division of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal with exclusive jurisdiction in certain corporate proceedings. The most significant cases brought before them are corporate inquiry hearings, which aim to investigate policies and conduct within an organisation and may lead to remedies such as the appointment of an independent director.
In conclusion, the legal system in The Netherlands offers several avenues for resolving disputes, such as standard and summary proceedings; additionally, there is a specialized court called Enterprise Chamber which deals with corporate matters. Furthermore, rules on evidence, international jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments must all be taken into account by those involved in legal proceedings in The Netherlands.
In you are searching for further information on civil proceedings in the Netherlands, please follow the following links: